Forget the limitations of a despondent present – the dwindling economy, the prevailing chaos and the slowly disintegrating self-esteem. Thinking is free, so let’s use that to it’s fullest. What about … going to the moon? Let’s keep it realistic. What about taking a vacation to the beautiful island of Bora-Bora or witnessing that favorite football derby that we had always wanted to?
Well, I have been thinking about the above two for quite some time now. It is all but wishful thinking for now. Apart from all that, what I did not think about was how Baniyas’s Egyptian import Mohamed Zidan could affect the team in his first game in the UAE.
It literally took him 5 mins to get on to the scoring sheet. The first round of Cup games have been blitzed with goals by the various foreign imports representing their respective clubs. Earlier today, Ajman’s Malian striker – Founeke managed to score the season’s first hat trick against Dibba Al Fujairah.
So Zidan scoring in this game should not have been a surprise. After all, scoring goals is what he was brought in to do. His well placed free kick from 22m left Al Dhafra keeper Khalid Saif Al Sinani helpless. It was quite evident in the later stages that he was not comfortable with any balls coming in through the aerial route.
Al Sinani was kept busy all throughout the game stopping shots coming in from various angles. Zidan’s Senegalese teammate, Andre Senghor should have scored at least three in the first half. He finally did in the second half, by guiding the ball to the net using his upper back from a Zidan taken free kick in the 55th minute.
Players of both the clubs were dropping like flies at one point. The league is infamous for that. One particular incident saw Al Dhafra’s Bandar Mohamed committing a clear dive after apparently colliding with a defender. He looks up at the referee to see the decision given and then started rolling on the ground as the “pain” kicked in.
Al Dhafra finally managed to pull one back through a penalty but could not managed to equalize. Zidan’s overall performance was respectable as he managed a goal and an assist in his debut. He held up the ball, as a striker of his calibre would, setting up some excellent runs for the wingers. Signs of getting acclimatized to the league’s style were visible at times, but he succeeded in shunning away the critics. Those who say he is the type of player that can only perform if the right players are around him.
Last season around, Baniyas were placed 9th in the league. Of course, the club will be moving upwards much faster this time around.